From the language in a social media caption to the colour palette used on a website, Instagram graphic or even a billboard, companies who create strong reputations know that their brand needs to live everywhere—and it needs to be consistent.
A brand guide is an essential document that collects every aspect of your brand design in one clear, thorough and accessible place. Consistent branding not only makes your business memorable, it helps consumers distinguish your business across multiple channels.
What’s included in a brand guide?
A brand guide (also known as a style guide or brand kit) includes a variety of rules and examples that help distinguish your business from others while making it instantly recognizable. It gives your organization an identity, makes your business memorable, communicates a specific personality and tone, encourages consumers to buy from you, and supports your marketing and advertising efforts.
A brand kit typically includes the following brand elements of your business:
- Colour (Hex and CMYK codes, primary and secondary colours) plus notes on where and how these colours are to be used.
- Font (primary and secondary) plus notes on where and how each font should be used.
- Logo (in various dimensions, orientations and sizes, as well as different colour schemes).
A brand kit also showcases common examples of how these assets are to be used, as well as any restrictions (for example: when used on a website, the tagline must follow the business name or no more than three approved colours should be used in a single social media graphic—two primary and one secondary). It may also include tone and language guidelines for use in public-facing communications such as blogs, social media, press releases, ads and other written materials.
Why is having a brand guide important?
A brand guide is important for a number of reasons, most notably because it helps you create a connection with your customers by building a relationship with them over time. In fact, branding is so important that it can be the deciding factor for consumers when they make a purchase decision. One study found that users who feel a connection to a brand spend twice as much money as those who don’t. Other reasons having a brand kit is important include:
- It allows anyone who creates content for your business to remain on brand, whether they’re working on digital, in print, designing business cards, or creating video content.
- It allows for a consistent, clean image that reflects the brand. This helps promotions pack that extra punch with added recognition and impact.
- Increases customer brand recognition. Think about Coca-Cola. The brand has one of the most recognizable logos and colour stories around the world. The classic red and white lettering, vibrant artwork, and distinctive font have lasted for over a century.
- A brand kit consolidates your branding, giving your business an identity beyond its product or service. It gives consumers something to relate to and connect with.
Remaining consistent across all forms of marketing activities and ensuring that each team member has access to brand assets allows for a consistent, professional, recognizable brand image (and no off-brand misses by employees who tried to wing it). Ultimately, a brand kit is an easy way to ensure that every team member can effectively communicate the brand in internal and external materials, and that you remain consistent across channels. It guarantees professionalism, improves efficiency and above all, strengthens your marketing across all platforms.
If you’re looking for help designing brand elements or creating guidelines for written communications including language and tone, Campfire Digital Marketing can create a brand kit for your business. Our team can also make personalized recommendations about digital marketing based on your needs, goals and budget. Please contact us today to get started.